In April 2017, all Illinois students classified as 11th grade students in the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year will take the SAT or the DLM test. The SAT is now required by the state for a high school diploma. The DLM is a requirement for 11th grade students if it is part of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
In previous years, students have been required to take the PARCC and/or ACT assessments to complete Illinois requirements for a high school diploma. Going forward, the SAT replaces the PARCC and ACT for grade 11 students. Peoria Public School teachers, counselors and interventionists are ensuring that current 2016-2017 juniors are aware of the change and are well-prepared to take the SAT.
The SAT and ACT are similar. Each test requires about the same amount of time to complete. Each has an optional essay portion. Both the SAT and ACT have a reading passage, but the ACT has a science section which measures critical-thinking skills rather than specific science knowledge. One math section of the SAT prohibits the use of calculators, while calculators are permitted on all ACT math questions. The SAT has been revised to align with the Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) and therefore should be more aligned to classroom instruction.
Peoria Public School high school teachers are building SAT test prep exercises into their daily lesson plans. Teachers are incorporating more writing in courses, using variations of SAT essay prompts. Student writing is evaluated using the SAT Essay Scoring Rubric. Science teachers practice algebraic equations, graphs and charts, nonfiction text analysis, data analysis, anticipation guides, lab reports and compare/contrast problems. Social studies teachers are helping students master extended response, source-based writing, argumentative claims with supporting details, source content and connections, and graphic organizers. Mathematics teachers are doing problems of the day from College Board and that students are modeling their responses to meet the rigor of expectations.
After school and/or Saturday study tables will begin at each high school starting with the second semester. The study tables will give students the chance for targeted support. A Saturday practice exam will be offered courtesy of Kaplan Test Prep.
Students also can take advantage of free online sources are available to prepare including:
If your student is a classified as a senior by Peoria Public School standards at the end of the first semester, they will not be required to take the SAT test. If your child plans to attend a two- or four-year institution after high school they may be required to take either the ACT or the SAT as part of the school’s application process.
High school students and their parents with questions about the SAT/DLM can speak to their child’s counselor or school interventionist.